Nieman Foundation at Harvard
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The enduring allure of conspiracies
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Stories on Audience & Social

Conspiracy theories seem to meet psychological needs and can be almost impossible to eradicate. One remedy: Keep them from taking root in the first place.
Projects that demonstrate “clear ways to measure success” and aim to reach groups “disproportionately affected by misinformation” will be prioritized.
“While enforcing their rules on the president may help prevent him from egging on his followers further, the rush to delete videos posted by those very followers may end up making them harder to hold accountable. “
“There’s such a fun food scene in the city that we all just miss, and this is our ability to replicate that as much as possible until it’s safe to go back out again.”
As the social media platforms become more active in tackling false claims around politics and health, disinformation agents are searching for “new” ways to spread their messages.
Ahead of crucial Senate runoffs, Facebook reversed its political ad ban, and the impact was visible on users’ feeds.
By arguing with a message, you are spreading it further. This matters, because if more people see it, or see it more often, it will have an even greater effect.
As the election recedes, medical and climate misinformation move to the forefront.
Plus: Journalistic norms vs. right-wing populism, what journalists think about deleting their tweets, and the unfulfilled promise of augmented reality for news
Plus: Cut the CRAAP, and Facebook’s Oversight Board announces the first cases it will take on.